NFL

NFL mock draft 2021: Vikings add Christian Darrisaw to anchor offensive line

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There is no doubt that the Minnesota Vikings must add talent on the offensive line in this draft. Luckily for them, this is draft where they can pluck elite blockers to be bodyguards for their backfield in the future. For Daily Norseman, Christian Darrisaw is that blocker, and they snag him with pick No. 14.

From Christopher Gates at the Daily Norseman:

For the record, I think there’s very little chance that the Vikings make this pick at 14. I have a feeling that they’re going to do everything in their power to trade back and recoup the second-round pick they gave away this past season. However, in this scenario, we need to make a selection, and with the way the board has fallen Darrisaw is the ideal pick.

Darrisaw gives the Vikings a plug-and-play left tackle, allowing them to keep Brian O’Neill at right tackle and Ezra Cleveland at guard. The less shuffling the Vikings have to do on the offensive line, the better. Darrisaw is a fit for what the Vikings want to do offensively and would also provide an outstanding blind side protector for Kirk Cousins. There are some other players that someone could make an argument for, but I don’t feel there’s necessarily an edge guy at this point that’s worth #14 overall, and with the Jeff Gladney situation cornerback is a position they could look at here as well. However, having Darrisaw available at No. 14 is a gift, and it would be difficult for the Vikings to pass him up.

Darrisaw can be a cornerstone for the Vikings at left tackle for years to come. A massive hole on the left side of the offensive line opened up this offseason with the release of former starter Riley Reiff. With a well-put-together frame of 6’5, 314 pounds, Darrisaw is an athletic tackle who is exceptional in pass protection and has a smooth technique that allows him to look like a natural at times.

When it comes to the run game, Darrisaw is excellent at getting out on the run and getting to the second level to reach defenders and aggressively remove them the path of the ball carrier. This past season, Darrisaw earned second-team AP All-American honors and was a first team All-ACC selection. Not bad for the former junior college transfer.

Fixing the inconsistencies of the Vikings offensive line will be a true focal point this offseason as head coach Mike Zimmer enters his eighth season at the helm. The Vikings offensive line will be better going forward with the selection of Darrisaw. Left tackle is an Achilles heel at the moment for Minnesota, but with Darrisaw they’d have a pillar on the left side. If the Vikings could land him, Darrisaw would protect the blindside of quarterback Kirk Cousins and open up plenty of run lanes for running back Dalvin Cook.

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